asylum_seekerWhile in Geneva (Switzerland) the local government just started building a new administrative detention centre of 168 beds which will include family cells, a new US study by two renowned law professors come to the conclusion that the six year long immigration programme intended to improve public safety by deporting hundred of thousands of people, many of them convicted criminals, has had no « observable effects on the overall crime rate. »

Adam B. Cox, a professor at New York University’s School of Law, and Thomas J. Miles, a professor at the Law School at the University of Chicago, concluded that there was no « empirical evidence » that the said programme called SECURE COMMUNITIES (http://www.ice.gov/secure_communities/) caused a meaningful reduction in the rates of serious crimes. The outcome of this analysis is crucial as criminal deportation policies generally, have been publicly justified on grounds that they keep communities safer from violent crime, according to the authors.

If they admit that the program might have reduced the number of crimes being committed, it had not necessarily made communities safer because the measure of safety, which is the crime rate (number of crimes per population ) remained unchanged.

Secure Communities did lead to the deportation of immigrants convicted of very serious crimes, but a majority of those deported were guilty of misdemeanors — including victimless immigration offenses not directly related to public safety — or of no crime at all.

The findings, they said, seem to underscore much of the existing social science evidence that immigrants on average offend at lower rates than the native-born. “If the folks deported through Secure Communities are as — or more — law-abiding than the average person living in their community, then deporting them won’t necessarily drive down crime rates,” they said. “It could even, in theory, cause crime rates to go up.”

The analysis of the two professors is scheduled for publication in the November issue of The Journal of Law and Economics, a journal for peer-reviewed research, coincides with the Obama administration’s internal review of the program, known as Secure Communities. Jeh Johnson, the Homeland Security secretary, has suggested that he might overhaul the program, saying it needs “a fresh start.

Links: http://www.law.nyu.edu/faculty/facultyprofiles/adamcox/securecommunities
http://its.law.nyu.edu/faculty/profiles/representiveFiles/does_immigration_enforcement_reduce_crime_082514_94242D7E-F712-063A-64352391880DABF8.pdf

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